Observed and Potential Crop Yields

Difference between observed crop yields and the potential yield at the same location for major crops

  • Source: EarthStat/UMN IonE/LUGE Lab at UBC
  • Last update: -

The Yield Gap and Potential Yield for Major Crops data set was created by EarthStat, the University of Minnesota's Institute on the Environment and the Land Use (UMN IonE), and the Global Environment Lab at the University of British Columbia (LUGE Lab at UBC) for 16 major crops. Yield gaps are defined as the difference between observed crop yields and the potential yield at the same location. Yield gaps were estimated by comparing observed yields to potential yields determined by identifying high-yielding areas within zones, or bins, of similar climate. To classify climates, 2 parameters, which are known to be fundamental drivers of plant growth, were used to describe a region's climate: growing degree days (GDD) and a crop soil moisture index (the ratio of actual evapotranspiration to potential evapotranspiration). For each climate zone and each crop, a table was generated containing the yield, harvest area, and latitude/longitude position information for each grid cell included in the distribution. The data were sorted from the grid cells by their yield values, ranking them from lowest to highest yield. The grid cells' respective harvest areas were then accumulated until arriving at the statistical information of interest: the mean, median, and 90th percentile yields. The percentage of a crop's harvested area was calculated to define a percentile yield value. The data draw on average of census data between 1997 and 2003 and are shown as 2000 at a 5 minute x 5 minute spatial resolution. Resource Watch shows only a subset of the data set. For access to the full data set and additional information, see the Learn More link.

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Formal name

Yield Gap and Potential Yield for Major Crops

Cautions

The potential yields are calculated from averages. Caution should be taken if using these data to make major decisions. Only a subset is displayed of the 16 crops total in the original data.

Suggested citation

Monfreda, C., N. Ramankutty, and J. A. Foley (2008), Farming the planet: 2. Geographic distribution of crop areas, yields, physiological types, and net primary production in the year 2000, Global Biogeochem. Cycles, 22, GB1022, doi:10.1029/2007GB002947. Accessed through Resource Watch, (date). www.resourcewatch.org.

Sources

EarthStat
University of Minnesota's Institute on the Environment (UMN IonE)
Land Use and Global Environment Lab at the University of British Columbia (LUGE Lab at UBC)

Geographic coverage

Global

Spatial resolution

5 arc minutes

Date of content

2000 (Based on 1997-2003 average)

Frequency of updates

Varies

Published language

en

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